You’ve seen this magazine grow through a lot of stages, trying to find it’s niche as anything other than the strange magazine from Eastern Europe that pops up in the bars at irregular intervals and gets swooped up before you’ve had time to grab yourself a copy. So we’ve spent a lot of time thinkin’ about where we’re going and what you, the readers, want more of. According to our most recent reader’s survey, you want more gadget reviews, more “think” pieces and more prize giveaways. A good mix we think, so we will lean that way.
Lots of you asked for a “cleaner” look, so we’ve rolled out this new format you’re holding in your hands, and you’ll now find the listings and nightlife content missing. But don’t worry, they’ll be back soon, just a bit of upgrading going on.
You’ll also hopefully find more interesting issues ahead, as we welcome aboard our new features editor Elizabeth Bennett, who aims to take the magazine in the direction it’s always been heading to; your brain! We look forward to some great works out of her, she’s been a regular contributor for some time now.
We’ve recently had a couple of departures; Darren Halls has returned to London, where he’ll be for some time, and Think Magazine Co-founder Keith Kirchner has returned to the jungles of Vietnam. Singapore was just a little bit to squeaky clean for a wild guy like Keith. We’ll miss them both.
One item of note that I want to bring up is the issue of drink-driving, or as it’s properly known, drunk-driving. Because you’re not really drinking while you’re driving, (but you are drunk). Since Singapore has loosened up it’s night life a bit, going for the tourist and entertainment dollars and showing the world we know how to get down, the number of licensed venues serving alcohol has doubled in the past 16 months. That means more outlets for punters to patronise, more varieties of cocktails to imbibed, and the entertainment offerings have really evolved.
Another thing that has not evolved: The transportation system. Here’s the scenario; you’re a swanky young man with a job AND a car, and you’ve lucked out on getting a date for Friday night. So showing off that you’re a cool dude, you wheel your gal around town in style. It’s just one of the five ‘C’s. You hit the disco, hit the dance floor, and in an attempt to get in the mood, you hit the bottles. Now it’s 1 a.m., she’s in the mood, and it’s time to go home.
Are you gonna spend the next 20 minutes on the phone trying to reach a taxi operator just to pay $4 extra? Or even worse, join the hordes of the carless on the curb grasping for taxis like drowning swimmers? Hell no. You’re off to the car, and to take your chances with the men in blue. Who knows, you might just get lucky. Or not.
And that’s the problem. I know for a fact, cause I’ve seen them, the taxi drivers, off side roads near Far East Square, or Clarke Quay, waiting for a call. I’ve call tested them. So you end up with a situation unlike major cities such as London, San Francisco or Berlin. Here, you have customers chasing after taxis, instead of taxis chasing after customers. So people won’t bother with that hassle.
What needs to be done is eliminate the late night surcharges and the booking fees and pay the drivers a fair amount for the 1st kilometre, no matter what time of day. Say maybe, $4, that’s fair. Another option is to run the MRT until 2 am on the weekends, so there are more options. But since the same people own the MRTs as own the cabs, what do you think the chances of that happening are?